One language

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Yesterday I say a post in the Silly Linguistics Community on Facebook challenging people to write a sentence in all the languages they speak. This is what I came up with:

Tha e duilich writing une phrase ym mhob språk atá agam, pero ich 試試 red ennagh symoil を書く, kaj nun я хочу říct že il mio tomo tawa supa está cheio de țipari.

This means “It is difficult writing a sentence in every language I speak, but I will try to write something interesting, and now I want to say my hovercraft is full of eels”.

The languages, in order, are Scottish Gaelic, English, French, Welsh, Swedish, Irish, Spanish, German, Chinese, Manx, Japanese, Esperanto, Russian, Czech, Italian, Toki Pona, Portuguese and Romanian.

It’s not the best sentence ever, perhaps, but I enjoyed the challenge of putting it together. It also got me thinking about how many languages and writing systems I could use in a version of my motto “one language is never enough“. This motto appears on some versions of my logo, such as the one above, and I usually try to write it in several difficult languages.

Here are some versions I came up with today. The first version incorporates some of the languages I speak and am learning, plus a few others.

Une singură 语言 är nikdy недостаточно – languages = French, Romanian, Chinese, Swedish, Czech / Slovak, Russian.

Ett seule 言語 ist nunca yn ddigon – languages = Norwegian / Swedish, French, Japanese, German, Portuguese / Galician / Spanish, Welsh.

Jeden lingua er niemals suficiente – languages = Czech / Polish / Slovak / Rusyn, Asturian / Chamorro / Corsican / Galician / Italian / Latin / Sicilian / Interlingua, Danish / Faroese / Icelandic / Norwegian, German, Spanish / Asturian.

Can you incorporate more languages and/or writing systems into this phrase?

3 thoughts on “One language

  1. “Ett seule 言語 er nunca yn ddigon”

    I’m unable to spot the German in that sentence. Probably it should be ist (“is”) instead of er (“he”), or else this is a Danish/​Faroese/​Icelandic/​Norwegian er (“is”).

  2. Maybe we could make some geographical themes :

    Scandinavia
    Eitt mål är aldrig nóg – Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Faroese

    India
    ஒரு భాష যথেষ্ট ਕਦੇ नहीं છે – Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Punjabi, Hindi, Gujarati
    (oru bhāṣa yatheṣṭa kade nahī̃ che)

    Far East
    หนึ่ง 语言 今までに 충분히 ជា – Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Khmer
    (nɯ̀ŋ yǔyán ima-madeni chungbunhi cìːə)

    Turkic
    бір تىل эч качан yetmez – Kazakh, Uyghur, Kyrgyz, Turkish
    (bir til ech-kachan yetmez)

    Semitic
    לעולם לא يكفي ልሳን ܚܲܯ – from right to left: Syriac, Amharic (written from left to right), Hebrew, Arabic
    (ḥad lesāne le’olam-lo yakfī)

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